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Seahawks Remember Former Head Trainer Jim Whitesel

Jim Whitesel, a former Seahawks head trainer who spent 23 years with the team, passed away of cancer this past week.


Former Seahawks head trainer Jim Whitesel, 70, died at Evergreen Hospice in Kirkland late Thursday night of cancer.

Whitesel was an assistant Seahawks trainer from 1976-82 and head trainer from 1983-98, spending a total of 23 years with the team. He is in the National Athletic Trainers Hall of Fame and under him the Seahawks staff was named the 1988 NFL training staff of the year.

More than 20 former Seattle players visited Jim at Evergreen Hospice in the past month and Seahawks Ring of Honor quarterback Dave Krieg told him, "You took care of us so we're here to take care of you." 

After leaving the Seahawks, Jim owned and operated Whitesel Pro Therapy in Kirkland for 16 years.

A graduate of Franklin Pierce High School outside Tacoma where his father was principal, Jim's career started as a student trainer at the University of Washington, where he earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees. Before joining the Seahawks, he was an assistant trainer at Washington State University, head trainer at Seattle Pacific and a trainer for Longacres jockeys. During 12 NFL offseasons he went to Japan and conducted sports medicine clinics for trainers and also worked with disabled athletes. 

He is survived by his wife, Sharron and three adult children and six grandchildren.